Day 7, Women’s: Ireland vs. Sweden, L 14-13, Double Overtime
Men: Ireland vs. Sweden, Semi-Final, W 13-8…On to the FINALS vs. England
“That’s what learning is, after all; not whether we lose the game, but how we lose, how we’ve changed because of it, and what we take away from it that we never had before, to apply to other games. Losing, in a curious way, is winning.” – Richard Bach
Losing a close game always feels much more devastating than getting blown out by a team. Especially if you knew that you were the better team. We were in it today until the final whistle, two overtimes later.
The sun beat down on us, zapping any lingering reserves of energy we had stored. Exhaustion was etched into every face. Sweat dripped generously from our brows. Bruised and tired, we fought until the end when we lost in sudden death.
At this stage of the tournament, so much comes down to legs. We were low on subs to begin with and getting into a footrace with two speedy Sweeds was out of the question today. In spite of everything, many people stepped up ad played their hearts out. Devon, our resident race horse, ran up and down the field like a gazelle, while I felt like an elephant with legs like lead.
Ironically, my leg feels the exact opposite now. More like jello. I went down early in the second half with what appears to be a MCL sprain from hyper-extending it. I went for an interception and a girl fell into me, causing my knee to go in an unnatural direction. I tried to come back into the game, but my knee gives out when I try to pivot, causing waves of nausea and pain. Hopefully it is just a sprain, but I will know more once the swelling goes down.
As a player, the tournament is over for me. As an avid Ireland supporter, I am getting into rare form. I’m disappointed about my knee because we face the Netherlands tomorrow, and I would like nothing more than to personally avenge our bogus tie with them. However, I will be talking it up on the sidelines as we vie for seventh place.
This is not the path that we had hoped for heading into the tournament. Obviously, we would like to be competing for a medal. Gold, preferably. However, we learned a great deal, came together as a team without much team training whereas every other team has been practicing for months, and we improved every match. Unfortunately, we didn’t win it all, but who knows what the future holds? This team is scrappy, athletic, and determined. A good combination for success.
Tomorrow is our last day together as a team. After this we will go our separate ways, always sharing the bond of the 2012 Euros. I can’t quite believe it is already over. In some ways it feels like we’ve been here forever, and others, like we’ve just begun. This team will change with some people leaving and some new ones coming. But tomorrow we will celebrate together. Even though we didn’t win a medal, we came a long way as a team. We have a lot to be proud of. And this is not the last you will hear of Ireland lacrosse.
Speaking of…THE MEN’S TEAM ARE IN THE FINALS TOMORROW! They take on England at 7 pm tomorrow night. It is so exciting for our program, and I am ecstatic for them. They are a great group of guys who were not anticipated to take the tournament by storm. Don’t sleep on the Irish! Our team will be there in full effect, cheering, screaming, singing, and waving our flag. The guys have supported us in a similar way for most of our matches, and it really makes a difference. There’s nothing quite like being on the pitch and hearing lots of people screaming your name and cheering you on. We will bring our A game for their game.
No matter what, the men’s team is doing Ireland proud. It’s great for our program and a testament to how hard the guys have worked. They played England during the tournament and lost by four. Small potatoes. We can do it. GO FOR THE GOLD, IRELAND!!! We believe in YOU!